JFS Opens Sussex County Office

LEWES, DEL. – The new Jewish Family Services of Delaware (JFS) office in Lewes, Delaware has opened its doors.  The facility, which opened for business on Monday, January 25, 2016 will bring much needed mental health services to the area.

By expanding its footprint into southern Delaware, JFS seeks to improve access to quality mental health care for children, adults, seniors, and families in Sussex County. The location of the new facility, at Creekside Professional Center at 20684 John J. Williams Highway, is “strategic,” said Dory Zatuchni, CEO of Jewish Family Services.

“This facility is an important step in making mental health services more easily accessible to families and children in an area that is underserved,” Zatuchni said. “We are excited for our staff to serve the mental health needs of residents in the Rehoboth and Lewes area, regardless of their ability to pay.”

Nationwide, nearly one in five adults struggles with mental illness, and many find it difficult to access the care that they need, studies show. Local community health needs assessments compiled in 2013 by Bayhealth Milford Memorial Hospital and Nemours/A.I. DuPont Hospital each identify the lack of mental health providers as a priority need in Sussex County.  They also indicate higher rates of anxiety, depression, and mental health issues among children in Delaware’s southernmost county compared to the rest of the state.

A staff of licensed clinicians and a medical billing specialist will operate the 1,800 square foot office, which will be open from 8:30 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. Monday through Friday, with additional hours in the evenings and weekends available by appointment.

Each of the therapists have specific experience working with diverse populations including older adults, survivors of intimate partner violence, and the LGBTQ community, according to Zatuchni.

Additionally, the clinicians and psychiatrists based in Wilmington and Newark will be available to clients in Sussex County via telehealth technology.

The term telehealth, Dory explained, refers to providing clinical and psychological services remotely via telephone, email, or video conferencing. “It is vital to improving people’s access to mental health care, especially in areas where there are a lack of providers,” she said.

Like the JFS offices in Wilmington and Newark, the Lewes facility accepts Medicare, Medicaid, and most private insurances, and also provides financial help through sliding-scale fees for families that otherwise couldn’t afford services.

The new site receives funding from the Longwood Foundation and Highmark Blue Cross Blue Shield Delaware’s Blueprint for the Community grant program and ongoing support from the Seaside Jewish Community.

Last year, JFS provided counseling and support services to more than 3,200 people in Delaware and the Brandywine Valley through its two facilities in Wilmington and Newark.

About Jewish Family Services of Delaware: Founded in 1898, Jewish Family Services of Delaware (JFS) is a nonprofit, human services agency providing counseling and support services to more than 3,200 individuals and families throughout Delaware and the Brandywine Valley.  With offices in Wilmington and Newark, JFS provides outpatient mental health services, support for older adults aging-in-place, risk prevention education, digital media training, workforce skills for at-risk youth, case management for previously adjudicated youth, a volunteer network, and a crisis alleviation program.